Regional insights: Africa – Meet Tertius Ness

Meet Tertius, who is the Regional Technical Manager for BASEC in Africa, as he talks about his views on the industry and shares his insights on how he has navigated a 29-year career in cable testing and manufacturing sectors.

Record infrastructure and renewable energy growth is expected over the next 10 years in Africa so let us explore this further.

1. What are the upcoming trends or ‘next big thing’ you feel will impact the future of cable, over the next 3 years?

The next best thing in Africa is definitely renewable energy solutions. With many local utilities financially challenged, there are more and more independent power producers (IPPs) being established. Most of these IPP’s are strategically focused on solar and wind power generation. The systems are, not only, more cost effective, but the turnaround times to generate are much quicker and an added benefit is that they are of course much more environmentally-friendly when directly compared to the traditional coal-fired power stations.

2. What are your main priorities in joining the BASEC team, and how do you plan to approach delivery?

My main priorities are to build the African footprint, as well as driving an increased awareness and visibility of cable safety. There are many cable manufacturers in Africa that are not independently validating their products, this process is beneficial to them as it helps to build credibility and trust of product safety, both across the region and beyond.

I am targeting my focus on key sectors and organisations, plus highlighting the support on offer through regionally tailored marketing campaigns.

3. In your experience, how is the Africa cable market impacting the world or developing differently than other regions?

In Africa there are challenges which developed countries do not have to deal with. Cable theft is a huge problem due to the economic circumstances of many African countries. Local manufacturers, therefore, have the added challenge to design cables specifically for low-cost housing applications to eliminate the risk of theft. Cable identification systems, consisting of a unique conductor markings have also been developed to enable traceability.

Kenya solar power generation requires BASEC quality cables across Africa

4. What do you see as the biggest productivity benefits that industry will gain, following the COVID-19 pandemic?

Organisations have shifted rapidly to online channels, automated production tasks, increased operational efficiency, which have ultimately sped up the decision-making process and adoption of innovative operating models. There is huge potential, on a worldwide scale, to more than double the rate of annual productivity growth. Where African manufacturers can make these gains is to reposition their offering outside of the region through the application of recognised cable industry best practise and compliance.

There is a renewed sense of urgency to get things done, which is an added benefit.

5. Where is the value of approved cables?

I was first introduced to BASEC at a South African cable manufacturer that I was employed at. Having worked across a range of critical positions in the manufacturing process, from quality control to inspector and later production operations, I have a solid understanding of the cable manufacturer’s priorities.

My experiences, over the years, have led me to build the view that BASEC is the most professional certification body I have ever dealt with. The scope of services is tailored to the industry from management systems approvals and product certification, the value naturally comes from the way testing, inspection and auditing activities command improvements that streamline and enhance a manufacturers’ approach to quality.

On a personal note, I am also gaining invaluable experience because BASEC operates on a growing international level and there is much regional collaboration to support the supply chain. I have the opportunity to give back to the continent by driving safer levels of quality in the electrical cable markets, which is important to me as it will work to put Africa on the map as a key player.

If you require cable quality services, testing or certification across Africa, please contact Tertius Ness direct to discuss further.